Donald Trump’s campaign has undoubtedly given protectionist rhetoric a new energy in American politics. China, he says, is “killing us on trade” and the Trans-Pacific Partnership is “a rape of our country.” Early on, he got attention for calling for a 45% tariff on all goods from China and for saying we should impose tariffs of 35% on imports from companies that invest overseas.
On Tuesday, he delivered a highly publicized trade policy speech where he doubled down on his belligerent, mercantilist rhetoric. He also offered some more detailed and thought-out policy proposals. Here are the seven proposals he laid out:
- “Withdraw the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.”
- “Appoint the toughest and smartest trade negotiators.”
- “Identify every violation of trade agreements a foreign country is currently using to harm our workers … [and] use every tool under American and international law to end these abuses.
- Renegotiate or withdraw from NAFTA
- “Label China a currency manipulator.”
- “Bring trade cases against China, both in this country and at the WTO.”
- “Use every lawful presidential power to remedy trade disputes, including the application of tariffs consistent with Section 201 and 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 and Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962.”
Despite the outlandish nature of Trump’s rhetoric, there’s actually nothing new or radical about these proposals. They are, in fact, just what trade-skeptic Democrats have been demanding consistently for over a decade.